Monday, May 27, 2013

Getting back to a shape other than round....

So, a few weeks ago, I posted about how I wanted to get back into shape.  Not the round shape of post-pregnancy, but the shape I was in BEFORE I found out I was infertile and pumped myself full of medication and extra weight.  :)

This was me before all of that:

This was the night before our wedding!

I was at 123 pounds on my 5"6 frame and I was strong and lean and I felt GREAT.  So, I've decided that's where I'm headed.  :)  Today, I'm finally going to set up my workout room downstairs.  I have a treadmill, hand weights, tension bands, yoga mat, exercise ball, pull-up bar and several dvd's (Zumba, Dancing with the Stars Cardio, Yoga, Jillian Michaels, etc.).  There is no reason why I can't get back to my healthy ME.  

I've told the Hubby to purge the house of all the junk (which we usually don't have in the house anyway) by eating it asap.  (He lost some weight in recent months due to his crazy schedule with his baseball coaching, so he can afford to eat all that junk.)  I went shopping and bought all more usual healthy food and so far, this weekend, I've done really great.  I've never been one to "diet" because those things don't last in my opinion.  I just eat healthy foods that I love and work out.  I have great muscle memory so this has usually been enough.  We'll see if it still is after having a baby!  :)

I probably won't weigh myself very often because I really don't care about the # of pounds I lose.  I just want to look good and feel good again.  I've always been fit so this is just the twilight zone for me!

Wish me luck!  If any of you are on the path to feeling and looking better, let me know.  We'll support one another!

Off to get my workout on!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

Well, on Mother's Day, I woke up to this sweet face.  After years of wishing I could celebrate such a sweet holiday, I wasn't quite prepared for the joy I felt on Sunday.  I know I've been a mom for six months now, but it's the first time I've been "honored" as a mother.
Those cheeks....totally smoochable.

Rik had asked me for a few weeks what I wanted to do for Mother's Day and I couldn't think of anything I'd rather do than spend the day with him and Easton.  He was offering to basically "give me the day off", but that wasn't what I wanted.  I did sleep in a bit and I did let him fix me dinner but I couldn't imagine not spending the day doing something fun with these two handsome men!

I mean, really?  Look at these faces!

So, we started the day off by relaxing a little bit and opening gifts.  :)  Rik outdid himself and Easton went way over the top for a six month old!  Not only did I get the sweetest card from both of them, but Easton signed his own card and stuffed the envelope.  I've never seen such a crinkly, wadded up envelope in all my life.  Perfection!  In addition to my cards, Easton painted me a beautiful picture!  You may notice a few hand prints here and there (top right corner in yellow) so you can see just how big his hands are!  He can already palm a baseball!

My little Picaso.

Rik was a sweetie and gave me the money to go get my hair done (it's SOOO overdue) and a pedicure. I've been whining about how bad I need a haircut but I haven't wanted to spend the money on myself.  I'd much rather just deal with this mess and complain about it.  Rik is obviously tired of hearing me complain! :)  Thank you, honey!!!!

After that, we packed up and headed out for lunch.  I wanted this really delicious Thai restaurant but they were closed so we went to our favorite pizza joint instead.  In honor of Mother's Day, Rik bought Easton a new t-shirt to wear and I have to say, I am 100% in love with it. 

The cutest little inmate to ever come out of Folsom.

I decided we needed a day out at the zoo where we could stroll around and show Easton some of the animals and just kind of relax.  It was awesome.  We went to the zoo for Easter and even then, Easton was kind of amazed by the animals he could see.  I knew with him being a little older, he'd love it even more now.  I wasn't wrong.

We started off at the chimpanzee exhibit and while we were standing at the glass, a HUGE chimp walked right up and sat up against the window for about 5 minutes.  Easton was 4 inches for this massive creature and they just looked at each other for a bit.  It was pretty amazing.  Rik got it all on video but we didn't get a photo.  :(  Maybe I'll post the video later.

We decided to let E be our navigator and he didn't get us lost once!  He definitely takes after me in this department.  Just ask Rik about how long we were lost in Atlanta a few years ago.  :)

El Navigator.

When we found our way indoors to see the smaller monkeys, Rik and Easton sat on this ledge.  I kid you not, this female monkey walked straight over to them, turned around and practically stuck her girl parts to the glass.  AND.JUST.STOOD.THERE.  It was hilarious and a little weird.  She finally strolled away as I got the camera out!  It was so funny to see Rik's face when he realized what was being flashed their way.  It was one of those looks like, "What do I do?! I can't let my son look at this!"

And here, fine gentlemen, is my undercarriage!

This beautiful bird scared Easton a tiny bit when he would shake out his feathers.  He was HUGE!


Easton and I went into the petting zoo and made friends with a few goats.  Easton thought they were funny and kept giggling.  I was a little nervous about being so close to a creature with horns, but we survived and he loved it.  I did NOT love the goat drooling in my sandal.  Thank the LORD for wipes.


Awkward family photo!

We found the aviary exhibit and it sounded so pretty. All the birds were calling and making lots of racket.  Easton loves to sit outside and listen to the birds so this definitely had his attention.

He may have figured out how awesome it is to suck his thumb.

"Daddy!  Check out that coyote!"
they are so handsome....

My tiny tot...I love him so much!

 By the time we were finished meandering around, the zoo was closing up and we were all pretty tired so instead of dragging E around on any other wild adventures, we headed on home to spend the evening grilling out and watching a little baseball.  Easton did what Easton does and wrapped up his day with a little snuggle time with his favorite doggie.
Pillow Pet.

So, that's how my day went.  It was fantastic and wonderful and beautiful and honestly, one of the best days I've had in a VERY long time.  To be a Mother and to feel honored by my family was such a beautiful experience.  I feel so blessed to have my precious son and such an amazing husband who appreciates all the love, effort and hard work that I've put in so far being a Mommy.  It really is the hardest, most rewarding job I've ever had and I would not trade one second of it.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Being A Mother - Now That I Am.

Mothering is something I've always done.  Just not to my own kids.  I've mothered my brother's children.  I've mothered my friend's kiddo's.  I've even mothered random kids at church, the bowling alley, basketball games, the get the picture.  It's just something I've always felt was a part of me.  I don't mean just discipline and correction.  I'm talking comforting, encouraging, helping, correcting, loving, disciplining, worrying, experiencing new things, the whole gamut, or so I thought.

Then, I had Easton.  From the very first second he was in my arms (or on my stomach), I knew that this just got real.  Really really real.  I knew it was going to be tough with the amount of time, dedication and selfless giving that is required to be a good parent (NOT perfect parent).  What I wasn't ready for, even though I thought I was, was the worry and the bond that was forming and growing every day.

His first night in this bright new world, I sent him to the hospital nursery for a few hours so we could rest.  After 20 hours of labor, I couldn't form a sentence any longer and was honestly afraid I might drop him if I kept him with me.  The nurse left the room with him and I felt this sticky, dark knot form in my stomach.  What if he stops breathing?  What if someone drops him?  What if he's scared?  What if he doesn't know who I am yet?  Is he confused?  Oh, the thoughts just kept coming.....and they haven't stopped.   They never will.

Every tragedy you experience close to home or hear on the news or read on the internet hits home in a way you never thought possible.  That could be us.  The Boston bombing.  The shootings in Newtown.  The child abused and killed by his babysitter's boyfriend.  The little girl who drowned in the pool behind her house.  Where it used to hurt my heart to hear these stories, now gives me heart palpitations and cold sweats.  It's personal.

I had heard that this was something you could never be ready for.  I agree.  Sure, 96% of my time is spent hugging and kissing and playing with this adorable cheeky fella, but there are times that the heart-wrenching worry is so strong that I just want my mind to be turned off so I can stop thinking of such horrible possibilities that could befall our household.  It's tough loving another human being in such an endless, spiritual way.

The connection I feel with my little boy is on a level I've never experienced before.  It IS spiritual.  Everything about our relationship is pure and whole and true.  I've never felt that way with anyone.  When he touches (smacks) my face and looks in my eyes with his big blues and jabbers away, another part of the hardness and anger and sad and hurt Shannon falls away and is replaced by this light, happy, loving, WHOLE Shannon.  His love has healed so much of me that was broken and hurt.   It's something that continues every day.  I wasn't expecting to receive such a gift.  I thought I was going to be the one nurturing, comforting and loving him.  Not the other way around.

I used to look around our house and wonder what it would be like to have baby stuff everywhere, to be frazzled and exhausted and then to hear a baby laugh and it all be okay again.  Now, I know how that feels and sometimes, when I'm frazzled and exhausted and that little stinker spits up all over me or whacks me in the face in a fit of joy, I just laugh because it's the most amazing thing in the world to know I'm all of these things because I have a son.

Being a mother is like living in a body controlled by ten personalities at once.  It's so schizophrenic.  You're happy and laughing one minute, then 20 seconds later you're wracking your brain trying to figure out what happened to make this happy boy lose his mind and turn on the waterworks.  Five minutes after that, you're worrying freaking out because you're not sure if he just ate half the carrot you gave him or if it fell in the floor and oh-my-lord-what-if-he-chokes-to-death-before-I-can-get-him-out-of-the-five-point-nascar-harness-on-this-highchair?!?!  This is usually followed by an awesome sense of relief when you realize he has not eaten the carrot, it's squished between his thighs and running down his leg.  Whew.  Crap, now you've gotta clean that up and he's not finished smooshing it yet.  All the while, you're really trying not to stress about the dishes, the laundry, the dogs that are fighting in the living room, the plants that need tended to on the porch or the fact that you've GOT to get to work at some point today.  Wait, did I eat breakfast?  Where's my other shoe?  Is that yesterday's sweet potatoes on my pants?  We didn't have sweet potatoes yesterday.

I wouldn't trade a minute of it.  

There is absolutely zero down time.  No "off switch".  It's a 24 hour, 7 day a week job that I try to do in the best way possible every second I can.  It's emotional and life-altering in every way.  It is also the most rewarding, amazing, imperfectly perfect job I've ever had the honor and privilege of doing.  I thank God every day that he gave me the chance to show my worth for this beautiful baby boy.  I hope I never disappoint him or let him down, though I know I will.  I pray that he never once doubts my love for him, but that I'm always able to show him tough love when necessary.  But, above all else, I hope that we raise a kind, gentle, loving, hopeful young man and that he knows just what a Godsend he has been to me.